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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joel Hanrahan goes to Boston Red Sox as part of six-player trade - ESPN Boston

It’s official.

The Boston Red Sox on Wednesday acquired All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan and a prospect from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon and a trio of minor leaguers.

Also headed to Pittsburgh in the deal are pitcher Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands. Along with Hanrahan, the Red Sox also received infielder Brock Holt.

Also read WEEI: HOW THE RED SOX VIEW JOEL HANRAHAN AND BROCK HOLT.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:21 PM | 89 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates, red sox

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4332551)
Two points - first, I love Alex Speier. He is probably the most saber-friendly journalist in baseball today, and is a product of Harvard (he was captain of their debate team). He also cut his teeth with the New Hampshire Union Leader, and as a daily reader of the Manchester-based paper, you could tell he was going far fast. Very cerebral, very dry sense of humor, self-effacing...extremely thoughtful writer. You should read the link above from WEEI - it's a good example of the level of detail you get from his work.

Second, as a Red Sox fan, I like the trade. Why?

1) I think the Red Sox have done their homework on Hanrahan - they see him as an excellent closer who had a weak September due to factors which should be concerning. His track record in the couple of years before that has been consistently excellent.

2) The players the Sox are giving up are of little value to the Red Sox. Melanson could be very good for the Pirates, but it is not clear that he was going to be awesome with the Red Sox. It is also not clear where he was going to pitch, as the team has several solid relief pitchers. DeJesus was not going to stick with the Red Sox, and was a throw in for the big LA trade last season. Pimental was taking up a 40-man spot, and was not likely to be on the team any earlier than 2014 - if ever. I saw him pitch in person a few times in Portland in 2012, and I wasn't bowled over. Sands, to me, is a PCL guy who is really a AAAA player. With the Pirates, he could be a cheap 1B for them, maybe pull out some Garrett Jones-type success, and that's great...but those ABs were never going to happen for Boston. These guys were taking up 40-man spots the Red Sox needed, but they weren't going to provide value for the 2013 team.

3) As Speier notes, Hanrahan gives you options in 2013. If he is awesome, and you're in the race, you've got your closer, and at the end of the season, give him a qualifying offer, and take your draft pick. If he's awesome in 2013, and the team is not in the hunt, you trade him to a team needing bullpen help for a usable prospect. If he sucks in 2013, you're off the hook for him at the end of the year, anyway. He's only got one year at $7 million left - that's a lot to the Pirates, but not to the Red Sox.

Bottom line: We traded a bunch of spare parts for an excellent closer, and we got an oldish prospect (Holt) who may be the second-best player in the trade...and definitely better than DeJesus. Well done.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4332558)
Sands... ...but those ABs were never going to happen for Boston.


Why not? He would have had opportunities for AB's at LF, 1B, and DH. Napoli and Ortiz are not Gherig and Ripken in terms of reliability.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4332561)
Also, it would have to be a damn good season for the qualifying offer to be extended.
   4. jayjay Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4332562)
There's a decent chance the Red Sox aren't even getting this trade's best 2013 reliever.

Mark Melancon after his first four outings of 2012: 43 IP, 35 H, 10 BB, 40 K, 3 HR, 4.19 ERA.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4332563)
Alex Speier is the best.

One thing I rather like about him is how he clearly does his homework to find out what the Sox are thinking, and he writes up their thinking in a way that makes his skepticism clear when it needs to be. At $13M for a qualifying offer, it's hard to expect that any but the elite of the elite among relievers won't just take the qualifying offer. Guys at Hanrahan's level get maybe 3/25 after an excellent season. There's a small chance of getting a draft pick, but not much of one, and it shouldn't figure too heavily into our thinking.

Overall, Speier has the argument worked out pretty clearly. (1) The Sox think that Hanrahan is actually a top-10-ish relief pitcher in MLB despite his struggles in the back half of the season last year. (2) The Sox think Jerry Sands strikes out too much and is basically terrible. (3) The Sox like Holt's breakout 2012** and the bench value of a LH middle infielder with an OBP bat. If those three things are true - or if at least the first two things are true, this trade makes sense, and the QO / draft pick issue doesn't matter either way. I hope they're right. I'm not currently in the fan-space where I read that the Sox think pitcher X is great and say, yeah, pitcher X must be great if they say so.

**It's partly a BABIP fluke, but he's got a great contact rate, a good walk rate, and enough doubles power that his batting eye should play in MLB. Brock Holt!
   6. Karl from NY Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4332566)
Stolmy Pimentel

This is either a vodka or a Hunger Games character.
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4332569)
Stolmy Pimentel

PERCY!!!
   8. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4332581)
As a Pirate fan, I could do without the Woody Woodpecker song in my head.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4332584)
For all the chatter we do I think in the end this trade winds up as a non-entity. I suspect that none of the kids involved will ever be a meaningful big leaguer and Melancon/Hanrahan probably becomes roughly a wash. I don't think either the 2013 Red Sox or Pirates is that different today than they were before this happened. The Sox get a little benefit by freeing up the spot on the 40 man. Hey, maybe we can announce the Napoli deal now!
   10. morineko Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4332589)
#9: the plus is that Melancon will have far fewer people screaming at him now.
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4332590)
#5 - fair enough, and you are right that Speier is skeptical about the whole draft pick thing (he gave Soriano's lack of free agent interest as a good example).

Also, the Holt thing is interesting. He hits lefty, he plays SS or 2B, he gets on base at a pretty good clip, and he is obviously cheap. When you consider that the team attempted to fill this role with Nick friggin' Punto last off-season - a two-year deal, no less! - this is obviously a better way to fill this role on the team.
   12. TerpNats Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4332596)
Before this gets drowned in Boston talk, any thoughts on this trade from a Pittsburgh point of view?
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4332600)
No.
   14. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4332612)
Before this gets drowned in Boston talk, any thoughts on this trade from a Pittsburgh point of view?


Up and down. I think getting Melancon for Hanrahan has a decent chance to be a win by itself. Melancon still has four years of club control and I wouldn't be shocked if he's better than Hanrahan this year. There is a non-zero chance that Jerry Sands becomes Garrett Jones and Pimentel is an arm, always a reasonable grab. The Pirates get these pieces at relatively minimal expense. Hanrahan probably wasn't going to be there after July 31 and while Holt is a fun player to hope about he's not someone I'd worry too much about losing either.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4332616)
My question for the Pirates is about money. Why are the Pirates dumping $7M? Do they have another signing on the way? Their roster is full of holes, and a few million could help. I figure this trade really depends on whether they spend the money, and if so, whether they spend it well.
   16. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4332622)
15: Jon Heyman suggested on Twitter that the Bucs spent this money on Liriano.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4332625)
My question for the Pirates is about money.

B-R currently projects them to $57 and last year they were at $70. That's Kyle Lohse money!

Seriously, looking at the free agent prediction thread (almost time to tally up!) Bourne, Lohse and Soriano are the only three of note left. Presumably they're not going to waste it on Soriano and they've got McCutchen. There's really nobody for them to spend it on but Lohse. Or maybe they want to offer 2/$14 to Jonathan Sanchez. :-)
   18. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4332631)
Hanrahan
lisa needs braces
   19. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4332633)
Also, the Holt thing is interesting. He hits lefty, he plays SS or 2B, he gets on base at a pretty good clip, and he is obviously cheap.
As a Pirates fan I feel obligated to let you know that Holt's defense (despite what Speier wrote) is, uh, not great. Last year he played only second base for the Pirates and was mediocre at best, with a -21 UZR/150, though that was only in 14 games. His defense in the minors at shortstop was reportedly even worse.
   20. Dale Sams Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4332640)
At this rate it would have been better to keep Papelbon, rather than being a feeder team for others shedding closers.
   21. asinwreck Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4332649)
   22. villageidiom Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4332657)
Melancon/Hanrahan probably becomes roughly a wash.
If the Red Sox didn't make the trade, Melancon is at best 5th on the bullpen depth chart (Bailey, Tazawa, Uehara, Bard*), and doesn't sniff a pressure situation. After the trade, they have someone who is at best the top of the chart. Looking at 2013 only, and looking at it as of December 2012, there's no way it's a wash for Boston.

Now, of course, this is one year of Hanrahan for 4 years of Melancon; the Pirates might be able to give Melancon some opportunity to develop that Boston wouldn't have** and he might someday be what Hanrahan is right now. And that "someday" could be in 2013. It wouldn't have been in 2013 had he stayed in Boston, given their bullpen makeup.

Hell, if he'd stayed in Boston, and got a bunch of garbage-time assignments, and repeated the middling results he had in 2012 with similar assignments, he would never be considered closer material again. He might not even have been considered MLB material again.

* I'm assuming Aceves will be traded. Maybe I shouldn't, in which case Melancon would be at best 6th on the depth chart.

** In terms of personnel. Melancon might not be the closer right away for Pittsburgh, but their bullpen depth might allow him to grow into the role whereas he likely wouldn't have had that opportunity in Boston.
   23. vivaelpujols Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4332664)
Isn't Marcum still a FA? Seems like him and maybe a couple of cuban players is a better use of 14 million than Lohse.
   24. Dale Sams Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4332666)
I will put up a b-ref bet right now that Melancon puts up a better WAR than Bard in 2013.
   25. haven Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4332670)
If the Red Sox didn't make the trade, Melancon is at best 5th on the bullpen depth chart (Bailey, Tazawa, Uehara, Bard*), and doesn't sniff a pressure situation. After the trade, they have someone who is at best the top of the chart. Looking at 2013 only, and looking at it as of December 2012, there's no way it's a wash for Boston.

If Melancon performs even closely to Hanrahan how does this matter. To bury Melancon based on less than a handful of relief appearances in April of 2012 is foolishness on the part of Boston's front office which if anything makes this deal look worse, not better.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4332707)
Dental plan!
   27. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4332714)
To bury Melancon based on less than a handful of relief appearances in April of 2012 is foolishness on the part of Boston's front office which if anything makes this deal look worse, not better.


Check out his month by month splits. ERAs over 6 for both June & July. Did you stop watching after April?
   28. haven Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4332721)
Check out his month by month splits. ERAs over 6 for both June & July. Did you stop watching after April?


That would be July and August.

His ERA was just over 1 in June and under 1 in September/October. Not to mention his 2011.

Do you want to play sample size games? Ignore peripherals?

I wish Hanrahan good luck. He performed much better than anyone could have dreamed for the Pirates after being a throw in. Want to fall into the proven closer game with him. Ignore Mellancon's upside. Fine.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4332723)

Pirates will go with Jason Grilli as closer.

not the son of the pitcher with that name - the same guy; he's 36.

and his K rates of the last 2 years - well, some are going to wonder

   30. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4332739)
Melancon looked good on paper before he came over to the Sox. He looked OK for stretches. He didn't get people out for equally long stretches. He won't be missed. Maybe Hanrahan will be the same. Probably not.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4332768)
Before this gets drowned in Boston talk, any thoughts on this trade from a Pittsburgh point of view?


On the whole, not bad. Melancon for Hanrahan is pretty much a lateral move talent-wise, so the fact that he's younger and cheaper is nice. Sands is good insurance at the three corners he can play, and if nothing else it'll be helpful to have a bench player who can hit a little. Pimentel and De Jesus are low-value depth guys.

Holt is fun, but he's not a good SS, and he wasn't going to take the 2B job away from Walker. I would've rather had him on the bench than Harrison, but it's not an insurmountable loss.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: December 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4332783)
So...basically the Sox are paying 7 million to clear some roster space. Great plan.
   33. villageidiom Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4332790)
If Melancon performs even closely to Hanrahan how does this matter. To bury Melancon based on less than a handful of relief appearances in April of 2012 is foolishness on the part of Boston's front office which if anything makes this deal look worse, not better.
They would be burying Melancon because they have several pitchers who are likely better than him in 2013.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:39 AM (#4332812)
Isn't Marcum still a FA? Seems like him and maybe a couple of cuban players is a better use of 14 million than Lohse.

Personally I think splitting the $14 M evenly between you and I would be a better use of such money than Lohse. We can probably all agree on that but his agent probably disagrees. Boras is such an *******.

And, yeah, I think Marcum is still available. I don't recall seeing his name pop up anywhere and if he was important, surely I'd have mentioned him before now. :-) He seems to have pitched well enough after the injury that there shouldn't be any special concerns. I might have preferred him to Jackson.
   35. Darren Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4332850)
They would be burying Melancon because they have several pitchers who are likely better than him in 2013.


But the point, I think, is that if Hanrahan turns out to be about the same as Melancon, Hanrahan would also be slotted in the #5 bullpen spent. But he'd cost a bunch more in terms of talent and dollars. And that's about where I come down on this one. Hanrahan and Melancon both look to be guys who are good, not great, relievers. But Hanrahan is older, costs a bunch of cash, and is gone after this year. From the outside, Melancon looks like a better bet, especially since you have a few years left to see how he improves or to trade him.

One nice thing about the deal, though, is that the Sox will be reminded that Lisa needs braces.
   36. Swedish Chef Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4332854)
I think it's an unreservedly lousy trade for the Sox, they pay in players and dollars for someone they don't need and who has no long-term value for them. All for getting a brand-name Closer™, this is the stuff Moneyball made fun of.
   37. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4332860)
walt

marcum is being viewed as jeff suppan the sequel. lot of suspicion that he is one mile per hour on his fastball away from being done
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4332864)
i think any time a team like pittsburgh can turn a guy in his 30's who throws 60 odd innings a year into some potential contributors it's a good deal for the team getting the younger swag.

pittsburgh needs to win more games 7-1 than 4-3. maybe these guys get them there
   39. JJ1986 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4332869)
The Sox were able to get their best reliever for some pittance ($4 million?) and no talent. I don't understand why they don't keep following that model instead of the model that cost them Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick.
   40. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4332875)
I think it's an unreservedly lousy trade for the Sox, they pay in players and dollars for someone they don't need and who has no long-term value for them. All for getting a brand-name Closer™, this is the stuff Moneyball made fun of.


I will repeat: The Red Sox didn't give up anything they will be using. If they didn't make a trade like this, they would have to find two open slots on the 40-man roster to account for Drew and Napoli. They could've simply given away Pimental and Sands, and gotten there that way...or they could do what they did:

1) Give somebody else those two players,
2) Upgrade their reserve infielder from De Jesus to Holt, and
3) Upgrade Melanson to Hanrahan.

There are about 25 "roles" on a team. Three of those roles are high-lev situation relievers, backup middle infielders, and bench bats who can lead off an inning. With this trade, they were able to knock out two guys they needed to let go of, anyway, and improve all three of the roles I just described.

Look, I don't think the Pirates were eager to dump Hanrahan - he's a very good relief pitcher - but he makes too much money for the Pirates, so they were willing to trade him for cheap, base-building talent. They acquired four lottery tickets from the Red Sox. It's a good trade for both teams, because they both got what they wanted in exchange for something they didn't want. That's a good "logrolling" negotiation tactic. Nothing more, nothing less.

   41. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4332876)
So...basically the Sox are paying 7 million to clear some roster space. Great plan.


Doesn't it get exhausting to be so relentlessly negative about everything the Red Sox do?
   42. Dale Sams Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4332891)
Doesn't it get exhausting to be so relentlessly negative about everything the Red Sox do?


Heh. Welcome to almost 2013! If that Cryo freeze from August 2011 didn't damage your brain cells, feel free to avail yourself of events of the sixteen months.

tl;dr version: 76-113

Even more tl;dr version: **** off.
   43. Dale Sams Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4332895)
2) Upgrade their reserve infielder from De Jesus to Holt, and
3) Upgrade Melanson to Hanrahan.


Holt, by all accounts is a horrible defender. Don't know about De Jesus. as we've said, we'll see how Melancon and Hanrahan do as far as 'upgrades'.

And what about Sands, who could turn out better than Kalish and Nava?

And who is our 1B right now? Gomez?

Who was this character in the hospital? and why did he try and kill Nornberg? Why did Ludwig lie to me?....and where the hell was I?
   44. JJ1986 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4332900)
Holt's going to be hard for an AL team to carry. You really don't want him playing SS except in emergencies.
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4332915)
Holt, by all accounts is a horrible defender.


What accounts are these?

Doesn't it get exhausting to be so relentlessly negative about everything the Red Sox do?


I second this question. I wouldn't think it would be fun to be as one-note as karlmagnus.
   46. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4332920)
Even more tl;dr version: **** off.


So, "no". Got it.
   47. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4332921)
If they didn't make a trade like this, they would have to find two open slots on the 40-man roster to account for Drew and Napoli. They could've simply given away Pimental and Sands, and gotten there that way...or they could do what they did:


I think there is every reason to think Holt is a significant upgrade over DeJesus. Neither guy is a defender and Holt looks like he can hit a bit. I'm not convinced that Hanrahan is that big an upgrade over Melancon. As for Sands I wanted to see what he could do but with Gomes and Gomez he's superfluous.

I don't agree with the roster crunch. Personally I would have been comfortable letting Steven Wright or Chris Carpenter walk from the 40 man and I think you can punt Pimentel with the expectation that he's far enough from MLB that no team would claim him. I also would have gambled on upside and let Mauro Gomez walk for Sands but I can see the case not to do that. Obviously Ben and Friends disagree with my assessment but I think the Sox had wiggle room on the 40 man roster.
   48. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4332923)
Holt's going to be hard for an AL team to carry. You really don't want him playing SS except in emergencies.


Does Holt have options? Between Ciriaco and Iglesias the Sox have shortstops to act as stopgaps.
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4332924)

A simple "no" would have sufficed.


It wouldn't have just sufficed. It would have answered the question, which was more than he managed to do in 40 angry words.
   50. JJ1986 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4332931)
Does Holt have options?


Definitely. I think he has 3.
   51. Dale Sams Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4332932)
I wouldn't think it would be fun to be as one-note as karlmagnus.


***** please. I'm not saying anything half a dozen others haven't said. When the Sox give me a reason to stop playing a ###### up pennywhistle, then I'll be the first one whistling "Flight of the Bumblebees".

   52. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4332949)
***** please. I'm not saying anything half a dozen others haven't said.


So everyone else has a simultaneous coincidental paranoid delusion that you are veering close to being a one-note gimmick poster?
   53. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4332955)
Hanrahan and Melancon both look to be guys who are good, not great, relievers. But Hanrahan is older, costs a bunch of cash, and is gone after this year.

sure. they're both worse than papelbon, and better than ... 2012 version of mark melancon. but there's a lot of space between awful and great. hanrahan in 2010 and 2011 was a very good reliever, and his 2012 was pretty good on the balance, with some red flags. melancon, on the other hand was pretty good in 2011 and horrible in 2012. they are not the same.

From the outside, Melancon looks like a better bet, especially since you have a few years left to see how he improves or to trade him.

a better bet to what, exactly? to provide marginally better total value over his 5 years than hanrahan can in 1? maybe. but that's not what the red sox need. with hanrahan you have a real chance that he bounces back to where he was in 2010/2011. if he doesn't, you have a pretty good chance that he at least pitches as well as 2012. and if he doesn't do that, you let him go. they took a guy that has an ok chance to provide some value at hte back of the bullpen and turned him into a guy that has a chance to be a very good reliever again.
   54. Swedish Chef Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4332963)
I can see why it is more tempting to jump on a poster than defending a crap trade.
   55. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4332964)
melancon, on the other hand was pretty good in 2011 and horrible in 2012. they are not the same.


Melancon had a bad four-game stretch at the start of the year that screwed up his numbers, but was otherwise quite good.
   56. Darren Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4332965)
With all due respect to everyone's assessment of Holt's defense, he played more SS than 2B in the minors. And in this article, Hurdle says he "did fine" at SS. Without more info, I'm going to assume he's at least passable. If he is, he's a pretty interesting piece.

I think MC hits the nail on the head with this trade. Maybe the Red Sox have good reasons to like Hanrahan a lot better than Melancon, but their recent track record doesn't really make me want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4332967)
I can see why it is more tempting to jump on a poster than defending a crap trade.


One has nothing to do with the other.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4333000)
It's plausible that this was a good deal (for reasons outlined in my post #5), but I don't have a lot of reason to trust the Red Sox talent evaluators, and you need to trust the Sox evaluators to like the trade. All of the stuff about "Melancon was #5 in the bullpen" presumes that Melancon isn't good and Hanrahan is good, but their respective CAIRO projections (Hanrahan 3.06 ERA in Pit, Melancon 3.84 ERA in Bos) don't suggest such a huge gap. If Sands is useless, then trading him isn't much of a loss, but he projects as a competent bench bat (CAIRO 330/459 in Bos) with starter upside.

Further, there's the problem that the exact same Sox evaluators that we're supposed to trust now, well, they traded Jed Lowrie for Mark Melancon in the first place, and they also took DeJesus and Sands as throw-ins to the Punto Trade. If those guys actually suck, then why should we trust the front office that acquired them?

The "Sox traded for them" thing cuts both ways, though. Folks who hated the Melancon trade and continually brought up league differences and save percentage and "can he pitch in Boston?" as arguments against trusting Melancon probably shouldn't have all that visceral a reaction against trading him away.
   59. Dale Sams Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4333001)
So everyone else has a simultaneous coincidental paranoid delusion that you are veering close to being a one-note gimmick poster?


Someone's delusional when they think two (three i guess, I couldn't quite parse SOSH's comment) people consist of everyone. (cue others to pile on.)

But I'll stop being negative. Let me say I'm thrilled and excited to get the Flyin Hawaiin as our right fielder/center fielder for the next three years. He's got a great arm, and who knows, maybe he'll return to 2010 form

I'm delighted to get Stephen Drew on such a cheap contract. He was hurt the last 1 1/2 years. Who knows, maybe he'll repeat that career 113 OPS+ season he had. Which is great for a shortstop.

If they ever do sign Napoli and his hip...whoops, not allowed to be negative...I'm sure Napoli will thrive in his new enviroment and put up career numbers.

Hanrahan?? Who can hate that?...ok stop stop stop....

I was going to say with a straight face that I wasn't being sarcastic, and I wasn't but...I can't say that demoting, and it is a demotion, there is no chance they use Bailey as a fireman...I can't say with a straight face that demoting Bailey after two months is a good idea. Unless of course there is some plan we don't know about to trade Bailey.






   60. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4333002)
with hanrahan you have a real chance that he bounces back to where he was in 2010/2011


There is also the chance that Melancon would do the same. If that happens you've got him for another 3-4 years.

Melancon 2009-2011: 112 IP, 124 ERA+, 2.23 K/BB

Hanrahan 2009-2011: 202 IP, 118 ERA+, 3.07 K/BB

I just don't see a major difference between the two. I like Hanrahan's stuff better and he's got more of a track record but I just don't find that a compelling reason to believe he's got meaningfully more upside.
   61. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4333005)
they also took DeJesus and Sands as throw-ins to the Punto Trade.


I don't think you can equate DeJesus/Sands with Lowrie for Melancon. They were as you note throw-ins and presumably wouldn't have been expected to be major contributors. Guys like that you get with the idea that maybe their benefit is in being flipped somewhere else. I think using both to acquire someone you believe to improve your team makes sense. De La Rosa/Webster/Proven MLB Closer is not awful as a return for Nick and Puntettes.

We've all done it in our fantasy leagues I'm sure. You push for another player or two who probably won't amount to much but could have some value.
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4333014)
I can't say with a straight face that demoting Bailey after two months is a good idea. Unless of course there is some plan we don't know about to trade Bailey.


There are plenty of real reasons to dislike this trade, but how does switching Bailey's role make it a bad thing?
   63. Dale Sams Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4333024)
There are plenty of real reasons to dislike this trade, but how does switching Bailey's role make it a bad thing?


Overall bad? No, I think my analysis of "So the Sox paid 7 mill to clear roster space" is spot on. A lot of lateral moves.

One of the the main writers at Over The Monster is afraid this is pushing the Sox perilously close to the luxury tax limit they made such a big deal about last year, so there is that. Making a lateral move that limits them.

As for Bailey, I didn't say that switching him makes it a bad trade. Just that it's hard to get on board with making Hanrahan the closer immediatly. Not even an obligatory "Spring training quote"? it's kind of ominous. Yes, I know relievers like to know their role as soon as possible, but...it's just a little weird. Does Bailey have another injury we don't know about? Is he in trouble? Are they going to trade him? How does Bailey feel about this?
   64. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4333029)
The most important thing about this trade is that we got rid of a guy who either misspells or mispronounces his own name. That's always going to be a plus.
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4333043)
As for Bailey, I didn't say that switching him makes it a bad trade. Just that it's hard to get on board with making Hanrahan the closer immediatly. Not even an obligatory "Spring training quote"? it's kind of ominous. Yes, I know relievers like to know their role as soon as possible, but...it's just a little weird. Does Bailey have another injury we don't know about? Is he in trouble? Are they going to trade him? How does Bailey feel about this?


Ok, thanks, I wasn't sure what you meant. It did also strike me as slightly odd that Hanrahan was 'anointed' so soon.
   66. Darren Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4333066)
The other problem with the Bailey angle is that a year ago, they traded for Bailey to be their closer. In one year, they seem to have decided that they were wrong on both him and Melancon, which doesn't make me want to believe them on Hanrahan.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4333069)
The other problem with the Bailey angle is that a year ago, they traded for Bailey to be their closer. In one year, they seem to have decided that they were wrong on both him and Melancon, which doesn't make me want to believe them on Hanrahan.


Well, Bailey's one year was 15 innnings of 7 ERA, so I understand not being stubborn about his role. But what I don't understand is bypassing the perfectly good closer options of Uehara and Tazawa.
   68. jmurph Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4333070)
One of the the main writers at Over The Monster is afraid this is pushing the Sox perilously close to the luxury tax limit they made such a big deal about last year, so there is that.


This occurred to me, too. I think it suggests one of two things:

1. They think the present team, as constructed, is good enough to make a run this year. Or,
2. They're going to move some salary very soon.
   69. Swedish Chef Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4333075)
The most important thing about this trade is that we got rid of a guy who either misspells or mispronounces his own name. That's always going to be a plus.

That's why they had Hanrahan say his name quickly seven times at the medical.
   70. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4333076)
1. They think the present team, as constructed, is good enough to make a run this year.


It might mean they are simply done with all substantial roster changes whether or not they think the team is good enough, right?
   71. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4333082)
One of the the main writers at Over The Monster is afraid this is pushing the Sox perilously close to the luxury tax limit they made such a big deal about last year, so there is that.
I'm guessing this writer is using Alex Speier's payroll estimates? I think Speier is over-projecting arbitration salaries by $5-10M total. using my own estimates of arb and pre-arb salaries, I have the Sox projected to about $155M in luxury tax payroll, which gives them $10M in breathing space. My ~$25M projection, ~$32M with Hanrahan, basically agrees with the arb salary projection at MLBTR. I also expect that Alfredo Aceves will be traded, and Saltalamacchia may also go, which would free up several million apiece.
   72. Darren Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4333093)
Is there really still some question that Salty will go? I assumed he was gone when they got Ross but it's been a while and now I'm wondering...
   73. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4333096)
Melancon 2009-2011: 112 IP, 124 ERA+, 2.23 K/BB

Hanrahan 2009-2011: 202 IP, 118 ERA+, 3.07 K/BB


100% more innings and almost 50% better k/bb ratio. i'll take hanrahan going forward.

It's plausible that this was a good deal (for reasons outlined in my post #5), but I don't have a lot of reason to trust the Red Sox talent evaluators, and you need to trust the Sox evaluators to like the trade.

i agree that you can't really trust the red sox as evaluators at this point. trading reddick for bailey was an absurdly bad move in hindsight, and pretty bad at the time; the lowrie trade was almost as bad, as they basically got nothing in return.

that said, i think you can make the case for this trade quite easily. stolmy is a lottery ticket at best. sands repeated at the most hitter-friendly environment and didn't dominate, and he doesn't have a position. all that's left is hanrahan vs. melancon, and i think that's a pretty clear upgrade.

The other problem with the Bailey angle is that a year ago, they traded for Bailey to be their closer. In one year, they seem to have decided that they were wrong on both him and Melancon, which doesn't make me want to believe them on Hanrahan.

well, they were wrong on both bailey and melancon. would you rather they not admit it and repeat their mistakes?
   74. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4333100)
Is there really still some question that Salty will go? I assumed he was gone when they got Ross but it's been a while and now I'm wondering...

geez. i hope they find a way to move him, but i'm beginning to wonder, too.
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4333101)
well, they were wrong on both bailey and melancon. would you rather they not admit it and repeat their mistakes?
No, but I don't want to repeat the mistake of trusting their talent evaluators.
stolmy is a lottery ticket at best. sands repeated at the most hitter-friendly environment and didn't dominate, and he doesn't have a position. all that's left is hanrahan vs. melancon, and i think that's a pretty clear upgrade.
Well, I'm not willing to say that Jerry Sands is valueless. A guy who can put up a 750 OPS and fake both 1B and LF has bench value, and he's young enough that he could learn to be better than that.

Also, the Sox traded four seasons of Melancon for one season of Hanrahan. Hanrahan doesn't need to be just an upgrade, he needs to be enough of an upgrade to justify losing the next three seasons of Melancon. If Melancon sucks, that's fine and dandy, but it's a more involved question than just, who projects better in 2013?
   76. Darren Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4333111)
well, they were wrong on both bailey and melancon. would you rather they not admit it and repeat their mistakes?


I'm not condemning them admitting mistakes (although they may be wrong there too), I'm only observing what that reversal says about their decision making.
   77. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4333113)
Is there really still some question that Salty will go? I assumed he was gone when they got Ross but it's been a while and now I'm wondering...

geez. i hope they find a way to move him, but i'm beginning to wonder, too.
Yeah, I said "maybe" because I'm growing concerned that they don't believe in Lavarnway.
   78. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4333124)
Melancon 2009-2011: 112 IP, 124 ERA+, 2.23 K/BB

Hanrahan 2009-2011: 202 IP, 118 ERA+, 3.07 K/BB

100% more innings and almost 50% better k/bb ratio. i'll take hanrahan going forward.


The K/BB ratio is a valid point but the innings is largely a function of the fact that one guy was a young pitcher trying to break into a team that was one of the best in baseball and the other was a semi-established pitcher trying to break into one of the worst.
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4333126)
Is there really still some question that Salty will go? I assumed he was gone when they got Ross but it's been a while and now I'm wondering...

geez. i hope they find a way to move him, but i'm beginning to wonder, too.


Yeah, I said "maybe" because I'm growing concerned that they don't believe in Lavarnway.


But there's no rush to decide on Lavarnway, right? Unless I'm forgetting some factor, I don't see the downside of having a little depth at catcher to either safeguard against an injury to Salty or Ross or to wait for a great trade offer for one of the guys. For all this, I'm assuming that Napoli is not part of the catching situation.
   80. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4333130)
Also, the Sox traded four seasons of Melancon for one season of Hanrahan. Hanrahan doesn't need to be just an upgrade, he needs to be enough of an upgrade to justify losing the next three seasons of Melancon. If Melancon sucks, that's fine and dandy, but it's a more involved question than just, who projects better in 2013?

of course it's more complicated than just 2013.

i guess what i'm saying is that it depends on where you set the replacement level for middle relievers. if melancon is projecting to be just another guy at the back of the bullpen, then that has value in the abstract (and real value to a team on a tight budget), but you should* be able to find a replacement. so, if melancon is replaceable, and hanrahan has a chance to get back somewhere near his 2010/2011 performance, he has more value to the red sox, even if they project to have similar values over the length of their contracts.

* i realize this is a jump to say that the red sox will succeed at replacing replaceable players, but, if you can't do that, you're forced to trade jed lowrie and josh reddick for relievers, and you've basically already lost.
   81. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4333135)
to add, middle relievers are either replaceable or they aren't.

if they are replaceable, then you don't shed a tear over losing melancon. if they are, then you sometimes have to part with a guy like jed lowrie (who had upside, but couldn't stay on the field) for one. you can't have it both ways.
   82. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4333138)
to add, middle relievers are either replaceable or they aren't.


This may be semantic quibbling, but in losing Melancon they might be giving up a 'back-end' reliever, not just a 'middle' reliever.
   83. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4333150)
no, i don't think that's quibbling.

that argument is that melancon projects to be a pretty good reliever, one that you can use in high leverage 8th inning spots. that, i don't see.

the other argument that i'm seeing in this thread is that melancon is just ok, a guy that you can use in medium leverage situations, but because they have him locked in for 5 years, he has real value. i agree with this, but i'm arguing that you can replaceable this easily, and that the performance represented by hanrahan's 75% (to pull a number out of my ass) projection is actually scarce.
   84. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4333159)
the other argument that i'm seeing in this thread is that melancon is just ok, a guy that you can use in medium leverage situations, but because they have him locked in for 5 years, he has real value. i agree with this, but i'm arguing that you can replaceable this easily, and that the performance represented by hanrahan's 75% (to pull a number out of my ass) projection is actually scarce.


Even if you accept that Hanrahan>Melancon I don't think Hanrahan>Melancon+Sands+Pimentel for this team.
   85. chris p Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4333165)
Even if you accept that Hanrahan>Melancon I don't think Hanrahan>Melancon+Sands+Pimentel for this team.

fair enough. i disagree, though, as i see sands and pimentel as near zero.
   86. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4333266)
Even if you accept that Hanrahan>Melancon I don't think Hanrahan>Melancon+Sands+Pimentel for this team.


You forgot Holt, which balances it out. The title to Keith Law's insider post on the trade said it best: "Minor upgrade for little cost."
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4333368)
With all due respect to everyone's assessment of Holt's defense, he played more SS than 2B in the minors. And in this article, Hurdle says he "did fine" at SS. Without more info, I'm going to assume he's at least passable. If he is, he's a pretty interesting piece.


I saw Holt play on numerous occasions last year. He's not a good defender. Might be able to get up to passable at SS (in the true-talent -10 sense) and might not, but definitely isn't there yet.

In an ideal world, he's a 2B.
   88. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4333379)
Two points - first, I love Alex Speier.


Me too. Love his articles.
   89. OCD SS Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4333416)
The other problem with the Bailey angle is that a year ago, they traded for Bailey to be their closer. In one year, they seem to have decided that they were wrong on both him and Melancon, which doesn't make me want to believe them on Hanrahan.


How much of this falls with bringing Farrell back into the mix? I think you have to consider that the talent evaluations are going to be different based on different staff from last year...

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